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Royals Lose in Section Final, End Season at 7-4

All good things must come to an end, and for Hopkins that means the 2010 varsity football season.  For the second time in four years, the
Royals advanced to the Section Final only to have their season end one game short of the State Tournament courtesy of a loss at the hands
of the Eden Prairie Eagles.  This year's contest was not as compelling as some of the previous meetings between these two teams, as
Hopkins was not able to recreate the offensive success they had in scoring 35 and 36 points against EP in the 2008 Section Final and this
year's Week 5 regular season matchup, respectively.  This time around, Eden Prairie cruised to a 42-7 victory on the strength of a couple
early defensive stops, an explosive running game, and two recovered onside kicks which allowed them to keep the ball for virtually the
entire first half.  

A summary of Friday's game can be found at the Star Tribune website

Varsity Defeats Shakopee, Moves on to Section Final
The Royals moved on to the finals of the Section 6AAAAA playoffs for the third time in five years with a thrilling 45-42, double-overtime win
over host Shakopee.  The Sabers, who entered the game with a 9-0 record, #10 state ranking, and the #2 seed in the section, score the first
two touchdowns of the game in taking a quick 14-0 lead over the visiting Royals.  Unfazed, and quite used to playing in close games,
Hopkins stormed back to tie the game at 14 on the strength of their always up-tempo passing game, which helped them move the ball down
the field and set the team up for two short TD runs by Dami Mafe.   And although Shakopee took a 21-14 halftime lead, the Royals quickly
tied the game in the third quarter, and ultimately pulled it out in thrilling fashion by intercepting a pass to end Shakopee's second overtime
possession, and then kicking a field goal (JR Zach Brengmann) from 19 yards out to punch their ticket to the Section Championship game.  

Statistics and a detailed write-up of the contest can be found either at the websites of the Star Tribune and the Hopkins Sun Sailor.

The Royals will play for the Section 6AAAAA championship and a berth in the state championship when they travel to Eden Prairie this
Friday for the 7pm matchup with the #3-ranked Eagles.  The game will be a rematch of the 2008 Section Final, as well as the week 5 game
between these two teams, which Hopkins lost 36-45.  .

Royals Open Playoffs with 47-13 Win The Royals kicked-off the 2010 post-season with a 47-13 victory over the #6 seed, Minneapolis Southwest.  
In a game played in
hurricane-like wins and rain, the Royals managed to overcome the weather and their own miscues en route to advancing into the
semifinals of the Section 6AAAAA playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.  After the Royals sprinted to a 12-0 lead on two first quarter TD
runs by QB Bill Gregg, Southwest stunned the home crowd by stopping the Hopkins O on four consecutive possessions while also scoring
two touchdowns of their own to take a 13-12 halftime lead.  Despite the scare, Hopkins recovered at halftime and outscored SW 35-0 the
rest of the way to cruise to a comfortable victory.   While many Royals contributed to the win, Hopkins was paced offensively by Gregg (2
TD's) and Andre McDonald (140 yards rec, 3 TD's), and defensively by Treyvon Smith (INT), Ben Christopher (INT), and Mo Okpalaeke (3 TFL).
The Royals return to action at 7pm on Saturday night for a Section 6AAAAA semifinal game at #2 seed (and #10 state-ranked) Shakopee.

Royals Fall to Skippers, End Regular Season at 5-3
In a game marred by self-inflicted wounds, the Royals fell to 5-3 with a 28-20 loss at the hands of conference rival Minnetonka.  Despite
rolling up nearly 500 yards of offense on the evening, Hopkins was unable to overcome five costly turnovers, one of which was returned by
the Skippers for a touchdown, and two of which came with the Royals driving deep in Skippers territory.  The night started well for Hopkins,
as they received the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards on their first drive, capping it off with a 9-yd scoring run by Dami Mafe (who
rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries).  The Skippers quickly moved to tie the score, and then took the lead for good on the ensuing Royals
possession, when a Bill Gregg fumble was returned 34 yards for a TD.  The Skippers never looked back as they dodged bullets in holding
the lead the rest of the night.  Although the Royals defense held the Skippers in check most of the evening (allowing only 196 yards of total
offense), and the Hopkins offense moved the ball well for the most part, the untimely errors by the Hopkins O proved too difficult to
overcome, and the Skippers were able to hold on for a narrow victory.  
Despite the loss, Hopkins was able to secure the #3 seed in the Section 6 playoffs, and will open the postseason with a game against the
#6 seed, Minneapolis Southwest.

Hopkins wraps up the regular season on Wednesday night in a clash against crosstown rival Minnetonka.

Royals Cruise to Convincing Homecoming Victory
Hopkins got back to its winning ways with a 42-8 rout of St. Louis Park on Homecoming night.  The Royals made it look easy from the
opening kickoff, jumping out to a 35-0 halftime lead thanks to 4 TD passes from Bill Gregg (2 each to Andre McDonald and Ben Christopher).
 The Royals put it in cruise control from there, ensuring that every player on the sideline was able to participate in the homecoming game.  
Defensively, Hopkins was stout all night, holding St. Louis Park under 250 total yards in allowing only 8 points.  Mo Okpalaeke led the way
with 7 tackles and a sack, while Dan George, Drakarrey Fountain, Brandon Hunter, and Mike White all chipped in with 5 tackles a piece.  
Click here for a newspaper account of the game from the Hopkins Sun Sailor

Varsity Improves to 5-2 with Win over Edina
The Royals earned their first Lake Conference victory by a count of 38-21 over Edina in a week 7 matchup.  It was homecoming night in
Edina (the fourth consecutive homecoming game in which the Royals had participated), but unfortunately for the Hornets, it was not a happy
homecoming.  Hopkins jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to two Bill Gregg TD passes (Andre McDonald and Tyler Perry),
as well as a recovered onside kick which led to a field goal by Zach Brengman.  While Edina was able to make a game of it in the third
quarter, the Royals were able to make plays when the game was on the line, scoring three more TD's offensively and forcing Edina into
many turnovers on the defensive end.
Stars abounded in a fun-filled game, but the Royals were mainly led on offense by Gregg (286 yards, 5 TD's; 91 yards rushing), McDonald
(140 yards, 4 TD's), and Ben Christopher (8 catches, 89 yards), and on defense by Josh Stewart (2 INT's), Austin Haecherl (9 tackles), and
Dan George (8 tackles).  

Click the link for an account of the game from the Lakeshore Weekly.

Varsity Loses Shootout to Eden Prairie, 45-36
In a game which featured almost 900 yards of offense and over 80 points scored, the #2 ranked Eden Prairie Eagles were able to sneak by
our Royals 45-36 to secure a win in their homecoming game.  It was the second time in the past three meetings between these new Lake
Conference foes that Hopkins got into a shootout with the Eagles, the other being a 43-34 loss in the 2008 Section Championship game.  
The 34 and 36 points Hopkins has scored in those two meetings are the highest point totals scored against the vaunted Eden Prairie
defense since they gave up 42 to Cretin Derham Hall in the 2005 state championship game.  This year, EP's defense came into the game
surrendering an average of just 3 points per game.  Hopkins was able to top that in the first quarter, when on their second drive of the night
Dami Mafe plunged into the endzone from 9 yards out to tie the score at 7.  Hopkins held the lead for much of the first half, taking a 14-7
lead on Sr DB Josh Stewart's fumble return for a touchdown, and a 20-14 lead following Jr WR Alex Hunter's 7-yard scamper off a nice
option pitch from QB Bill Gregg.  Despite falling behind late in the second quarter, the Royals again battled back to tie the game at 28-28
following a recovered onside kick to start the second half, and the ensuing 45 yard scoring drive which ended with a TD pass from Gregg to
WR Andre McDonald and a 2-pt conversion pass to Mafe.   That was the last time Hopkins would lead or tie, however, as EP would go on to
score the next 17 points to put the game virtually out of reach and protect their undefeated record and state ranking.  
Click here for a newspaper account of the matchup from the MN Sun Newspapers
Hopkins returns to action in week 6 for their homecoming game against St. Louis Park

Varsity Falls to 3-1 with Loss to Wayzata
The Royals suffered their first defeat of the 2010 season at Wayzata High School, falling 35-14 to the state #3 ranked Trojans.  In a clash of
defending co-champions from the now defunct Classic Lake Conference, Wayzata controlled the pace for most of the game by utilizing a
steady offense and smothering defense.  Despite tying the score at 7 with an impressive 13-play drive in the first quarter, the Royals
offense was never able to establish a steady rhythm, and was forced into 4 costly turnovers which Wayzata turned into points.  Playing with
consistently good field position and in front of a huge homecoming crowd of close to 8000, the Trojans offense used an efficient run-pass
mix to find the endzone five times against the Royals D.  

Royals at 3-0 Heading into Showdown with Wayzata
Hopkins continued their recent tradition of strong starts to the season with a 38-7 win over Irondale which left their record at 3-0 ahead of a
week 4 clash with defending conference co-champion and state #3 ranked Wayzata.  In the Irondale game, the Royals leaned on their
defense and passing game in opening up a 21-7 halftime lead, which they would eventually stretch to 35-7 in the third quarter.  Bill Gregg,
Andre McDonald, and Ben Christopher were again the offensive stars for Hopkins, as the Royals had problems getting their running game
on-track early in the contest.  Gregg threw for 300 yds and 3 TD's, while McDonald hauled in 4 catches for 161 yards and 2 TD's and
Christopher chipped in 4 catches for 94 yards and a TD.  Defensively, Hopkins held Irondale to just one score (and pitched a shutout in the
second half) on the strength of three forced turnovers and strong games by Christopher, Mo Okpalaeke, Mike White, Sr. LB Dan George,
and Sr. DE Dan Wheelock.
Click here for a newspaper account of the game from the Hopkins Sun Sailor
As mentioned above, the Royals will look to continue their winnings ways as they open up the Lake Conference portion of their schedule in
a showdown at Wayzata in week 4.

Varsity Moves to 2-0 with Win Over Centennial
In a clash of two defending conference co-champions, the Royals moved to 2-0 with a thrilling 36-35 win over Centennial High School in
Circle Pines.  After a slow start led to a halftime deficit of 27-14, the Royals stormed back in the second half, taking the lead on two
occasions and scoring the decisive touchdown and 2-point conversion with just over 2 minutes to go in the game.  Challenged at halftime
after surrendering 27 points in the game's first 24 minutes, the Royals defense responded in a big way by allowing only 8 second half points
and smothering Centennial with sacks, tackles for losses, and 3-and-outs, including crucial stops which sent the Centennial offense
backwards on both 3rd and 4th downs on the game's final drive.
Heroes abounded for Hopkins in the exhilarating come from behind victory, but the stars who shone brightest were Andre McDonald (7
catches, 156 yds, 4 TD's, and the winning 2-Point Conv), Bill Gregg (264 yds passing, 5 TD's), Dami Mafe (111 yds rushing), Tyler Perry (54
rec yds, 1 TD), Ben Christopher (15 tackles, 54 yds rec), Junior DL Brett Bremer (8 tackles), Mo Okpalaeke (8 tackles, 1 sack), and Senior
LB Mike White (7 tackles, 2 sacks).
Click here for a newspaper account of the game from the North metro's "Quad Community Press."

Royals Start Season with Resounding Victory

The Royals kicked-off the 2010 season is style with a 54-13 win over Rochester Mayo on Thursday, September 2nd. 
 The Royals, who scored on their second offensive play of the season, stormed out to a 41-7 halftime lead behind a dominant run defense and an balanced offense which scored on every possession.  The Royals truly were dominant on both sides of the ball as the offense racked up over 550 total yards, and the defense held Mayo to just 13 points (only 7 of which came against the Royals first group).  On offense, the following
players led the way for the Royals: RB Dami Mafe (9 carries, 155 yds, 4 TD's in the first half!), QB Bill Gregg (11/13, 163 yds, 2 TD's), WR Ben
Christopher (3 catches, 100 yds, TD), WR Andre McDonald (63 yds, TD), and backup QB Andy Wicklund (120 yds rushing and 2 TD's in
second half duty).  Defensively, the Royals were led by DB Tavaughn Blair (4 tackles, 1 INT), DT Mo Okpalaeke (6 tackles, 1 forced fumble),
DB Austin Haecherl (5 tackles), and LB Shane Mogan (5 tackles).  

Click here for a newspaper account of the game from the Hopkins Sun Sailor.